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Education Master's and PhD degree programmes Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology
Header image Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology

Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology

The world of work is rapidly changing and organizations constantly grapple with questions such as how to attract and retain skilled employees, design hybrid work arrangements, or promote human-Artificial Intelligence collaboration.

Work, Organizational and Personnel (WOP) Psychologists focus on understanding human behaviour in the workplace and applying these insights to improve the well-being and performance of organizations and their employees.

Our programme will encourage you to seek answers to questions such as: How can we create healthy workplaces where employees thrive, flourish and perform? How can we prevent destructive leadership and create inclusive workplaces where employees feel safe? How can we stimulate innovation? How can people best manage their career and maintain well-being and productivity as they grow older?

Central to our programme is a clear link between theory and practice: you will gain cutting-edge theoretical knowledge as well as the practical skills needed in your future career. Through the unique combination of specialized theoretical and skills-oriented coursework, you will learn how to translate theoretical knowledge into evidence-based practical solutions that can be implemented in the workplace. With the coaching skills course, you have the opportunity to get a coaching certificate , which can be a springboard to a career in coaching, counseling, or personnel development.

Facts & Figures
Degree
MSc in Psychology
Course type
Master
Duration
12 months (60 ECTS)
Croho code
60260
Language of instruction
English
Start
February, September
Faculty
Behavioural and Social Sciences
Why study this programme in Groningen?

This Master's track is a good fit for you if you are interested in:

  • Gaining the theoretical foundations and practical skills needed for a successful career in work, organizational, and/or personnel psychology
  • Learning how to provide evidence-based advice to organizations on topics such as assessment and selection, work stress and mental health, hybrid work arrangements, leadership, and innovation
  • Studying within an international environment
  • Obtaining a coaching certificate to kickstart your coaching career
  • Improving your career prospects with prestigious internships in the Netherlands or abroad
  • Getting guidance and hands-on supervision on how to address real-world challenges in the workplace and forge a thriving professional future
Programme

This 1-year programme consists of (a minimum of) 60 EC courses. The courses include four specialization courses of 5 EC each, a 5 EC skills course, a 5 EC methods course, a 20 EC master thesis, and a 10 EC internship.

Throughout the year, you will a) follow courses to hone both your theoretical and practical skills, b) work on your master thesis, in close collaboration with one of our staff members, and c) do an internship. The thesis provides you with the opportunity to explore a topic in more depth. The internship gives you the opportunity to see how organizational psychology works in practice, and to further develop your professional skills to prepare you for the job market.

Within the programme, you can specialize in a field of your interest through a focused choice of the course package, the topic of your master thesis and the choice of internship, such as:

  • leadership and change
  • personnel selection
  • hybrid work arrangements
  • creativity and innovation
  • occupational health and wellbeing
  • aging at work and career development
  • negotiation and conflict management
  • the psychology of coaching
  • artificial intelligence in the workplace

Our courses combine theory and practice. Each of our four specialization courses introduces you to a topical domain (e.g., selection assessment and performance; leadership, creativity and innovation) and relevant practical skills (e.g., job analysis and assessment, leadership skills, stimulating creativity). You are required to complete two out of the four specialization courses, however, you can, of course, complete all four.

You further choose one out of two skills courses (coaching or designing interventions) and one out of three methods courses (test construction, repeated measures or advanced research methods in social and organizational psychology). These courses are devoted to more intense skills training which prepare you for your master thesis, the internship, and your future career. With the coaching skills course, you have the opportunity to get a coaching certificate, which can be a springboard to a career in coaching, counseling, or personnel development.

In your master thesis, you explore and delve into a topic of your choice. You work closely with one of our staff members on a research project in order to hone your research and statistical skills.

In your internship, you gain hands-on experience in the field of work, organizational, and personnel psychology by working directly with industry professionals and organizations. This practical exposure allows you to develop and refine your professional skills, while also gaining insights into the opportunities and challenges you are likely to face in your professional future. We can support you by:

  • providing access to our internship database,
  • introducing you to our partner organizations (e.g., Noorderlink),
  • providing access to the coaching platform,
  • helping with, for example, writing applications, CV via our Career Services,
  • providing career support and guidance throughout.
Semesters
CoursesCourse Catalog >1a1b2a2b
Advanced Research Methods in Social and Organizational Psychology (method course) (5 EC)
Repeated Measures (method course) (5 EC)
Stress and health at work (specialization course) (5 EC)
Coaching (skills course) (5 EC)
Designing interventions (skills course) (5 EC)
Elective course (two extra specialization courses WOP or other courses in the master Psychology RUG/master course outside Psychology-RUG) (optional)
Internship (10 EC)
Master's thesis (20 EC)
Power and Leadership (specialization course) (5 EC)
Creativity and Innovation in Organizations (specialization course) (5 EC)
Test Construction (method course) (5 EC)
Selection, assessment, and job performance (specialization course) (5 EC)

Study abroad

  • Study abroad is optional

It is usually possible to do your internship in an organization abroad. You can consult with your internship supervisor which arrangements are needed to integrate an international internship in your curriculum.

Entry requirements

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Your previous education and chosen master track determine the application procedure and whether you are eligible for admission to the master or a possible premaster.

language test

Depending on your background and language of the track of your choice, you will have to submit proof of your proficiency in either Dutch or English.

Registration procedure

For all information, including above mentioned topics, please carefully inspect the pages on Application, Admission and Selection

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 November 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 November 202501 February 2026
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 November 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 November 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 November 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 November 202501 February 2026

Deadline for master's tracks with selection is 1 October and 1 March Deadline for master's tracks without selection is 15 November and 1 May*.

Please note: We strongly advise non-EU/EEA students to submit the application well in advance of this deadline* (more than 1 month) to allow sufficient time to obtain or renew a visa.

Admission requirements

Specific requirementsMore information
previous education

Your previous education and chosen master track determine the application procedure and whether you are eligible for admission to the master or a possible premaster. Check https://www.rug.nl/gmw/psychology/admission-prior-education to find the admission requirements that apply to you.

language test

All bachelor's students from a Dutch university meet the language requirements. For more information, please look at the following page: https://www.rug.nl/gmw/psychology/language-requirements

Registration procedure

The information can be found on the page about Application, Admission and Selection .

Application deadlines

Type of studentDeadlineStart course
Dutch students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 November 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 November 202501 February 2026
EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 November 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 November 202501 February 2026
non-EU/EEA students01 May 202401 September 2024
15 November 202401 February 2025
01 May 202501 September 2025
15 November 202501 February 2026

Deadline for master's tracks with selection is 1 October and 1 March Deadline for master's tracks without selection is 15 November and 1 May*.

Please note: We strongly advise non-EU/EEA students to submit the application well in advance of this deadline* (more than 1 month) to allow sufficient time to obtain or renew a visa.

Tuition fees
NationalityYearFeeProgramme form
EU/EEA2023-2024€ 2314full-time
non-EU/EEA2023-2024€ 17800full-time
EU/EEA2024-2025€ 2530full-time
non-EU/EEA2024-2025€ 20800full-time

Practical information for:

After your studies

Job prospects

The Master in Work, Organizational, and Personnel Psychology prepares you for a wide range of careers. WOP psychologists often work in organizational practice, but also in applied or fundamental research institutes. The master allows you to continue your education in the Dutch postmaster programme 'Arbeid- en Organisatiepsycholoog' offered by the NIP.

Below you can get an idea of the types of areas that WOP psychologists are likely to work in within organizations:

- Human Resources Operations
- Recruitment & Onboarding
- Learning & Development
- Compensation & Benefits
- Human Resources Data Analytics
- Organizational Development & Change
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Employee Experience & Wellbeing

Career services BSS
Where do you want to work after your studies? You can contact
Career Services already during your studies. They will help you orientate on your career, develop your skills, apply for jobs and find an internship.

Job examples

  • Human Resources consultant/Business partner
  • Specialist Werving en Selectie
  • Specialist Training en Ontwikkeling
  • Manager Reward & Recognition
  • Change management specialist
  • Management consultant
  • Employee Relations Manager
  • Employee Engagement Officer
  • Trainer/Coach
  • Career counselor
Research

Research

Our research reflects the wide scope of the field. All of our staff members have multiple research projects in different areas, and as a student in our programme you will be actively involved in one of our ongoing studies.

We employ a variety of methodologies, including field surveys, diary studies, and laboratory experiments. Many of our studies are done with employees in organizations, but we also regularly conduct lab research or online studies. Central to all our research is the link between theory and practice: We aim to produce knowledge that is grounded in good research and theory, while at the same time offering clear perspectives for interventions to actually improve organizational life.
Here , you can find a comprehensive overview of the research interests of our staff members:

Some examples of research questions that we address in our programme:

  • The Dark Side of Leadership: Why do some leaders behave unethically, or even abusively? Which personal and contextual factors explain this kind of behavior, or can help us prevent it? How can we empower employees to more effectively deal with abusive leaders?
  • Toward Successful Aging at Work: The workforce is getting older, and the retirement age is shifting. How can we help older employees remain productive and happy workers, and how can we overcome ageism at work? Are there unique strengths that older colleagues may bring to the workplace?
  • Stimulating creativity and innovation: Innovation is a buzzword, but many interventions remain ineffective. How can we help different people, with different talents or preferences, realize their creative potential? How can we help organizations recognize, select, and implement creative ideas?
  • Employee and leader stress and well-being: How do employees and leaders deal with distractions, interruptions, or workload and how do they effectively manage time and energy throughout the workday? How does Sensory Processing Sensitivity influence the way employees deal with work demands in terms of their occupational well-being?
  • Power, negotiation and conflict management: Does power always corrupt? When is power seen as opportunity to achieve self-interested goals and when as responsibility to serve other people's goals? How does power influence conflict management strategies and negotiation outcome?

Besides academic journals, our research is also showcased on Mindwise, the blog of the Psychology department.

Apply nowBrochureEventsContact
Masterweek faculeit GMW/master's week faculty BSSGrote Kruisstraat 2More information

Contact

  • Admission Office (Contact form) (for students with a non-Dutch diploma)
    Telephone: +31-(0)50 363 8976
  • Admissions Board Admissions Board Master Psychology (admission & apllication, for students with a Dutch diploma)
    Email: toelatingscommissie.masterpsy rug.nl
  • Dr. Diana Rus (Master Coordinator Work, Organizational And Personnel Psychology)
    Email: org.masterpsy rug.nl
  • Study Advisors Psychology
    Email: studieadvies.psy rug.nl
    Telephone: +31 (0)50 363 6301
  • Dr. Kyriaki Fousiani (Master Coordinator Work, Organizational And Personnel Psychology)
    Email: org.masterpsy rug.nl
  • Barbara Kip (Secretariaat Arbeids-, Organisatie- en Personeelspsychologie)
    Email: b.s.kip rug.nl
  • 
						Testimonial of alumnus Teus Jansma

    As an interim professional, I have the chance to get to know many organisations in a relatively short amount of time and to try out different types of work.

    – alumnus Teus Jansma
    Read more

    I'm an interim professional in the field of HR at secondment, recruitment, and selection agency Yacht. Even though I haven't studied Human Resources, the Master's in Work, Organization and Personnel Psychology I did, gives you a solid background to start working in this field. They are both concerned with working people, after all.

    Interim professional means that I am seconded at an organisation to work there for a certain period of time. Yacht is part of Randstad, the large temping agency. Yacht is their ‘professional’ branch, which is aimed at theoretically trained people. In addition to HR, there are several areas of expertise within Yacht, such as legal, finance, or IT. I’m now almost finished with my fourth assignment in two years time, so I have one assignment per six months on average. It’s great because it gives me the chance to see many different companies and carry out different types of work. It’s also sometimes called ‘legal job hopping’.

    I arrived at this job through my Master’s thesis, which was commissioned by the local government. My thesis discussed the development of the labour market in the Northern Netherlands. They were very impressed with my report; the way I presented it to them, and the way in which I made use of statistics. The latter is what got me a job as data expert in their team.

    As an interim professional, I have the chance to get to know many organisations in a relatively short amount of time and to try out different types of work. My professional development is therefore quite fast-paced. When you start your first job, you usually have no idea what you want to do and which skills you have. This job gives me the opportunity to discover my professional self and to find out what it is that I enjoy doing.

    In the current labour market, it is very important to attract the right people. Few people are the right fit and you want to keep the ones you managed to contract. That is why staff selection matters. In my current role, I'm also active as a selection psychologist, so I use my knowledge about assessments on a daily basis.

    I very frequently enter situations where people do things in a certain way because ‘that’s how they’ve always done it’ or because they simply don’t know how to do it and have, through experience, learned to do it the right way without even knowing it. I am able to use the knowledge from the WOP degree programme to improve, or even professionalize, business operations. Also, when a new project is about to start I can be of value, because I can rapidly familiarise myself with a topic and am able to find scientific information about the topic quickly.

    At the time, the Master’s in WOP was a logical next step for me after my Bachelor’s in Applied Psychology. I realized that my patience with clients runs out quickly if there is no progress. It suits me better to look at how people who function normally can function even better.

    In the future, I hope to hold a managerial position or even be on the board of a great organisation. That would have to be an organisation of which the core values are aligned with my outlook on life. Only then would I be able to give 100%.


    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Universitair hoofddocent Antje Schmitt

    Our Master's track prepares students for all domains of Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology.

    – Universitair hoofddocent Antje Schmitt
    Read more

    My colleague Susanne Scheibe and I teach the interactive course unit Aging at Work and Career Development. We hold discussions with students about what staff members need at different ages and in different phases of their careers, and how organizations can support them better within their own frameworks. Now that companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain good staff members, they need to start thinking about things like talent development, flexible working, and a good work-life balance . Organizational psychologists play a crucial role in the development and implementation of these types of initiatives. Bringing the needs of an organization and those of its staff together demands a lot of knowledge and creativity.

    If you're interested in applying knowledge from several different domains within psychology, the Master’s track in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology will be right up your street. Our knowledge is based on fundamental aspects of, for example, social, developmental, and personality psychology. My passion is health psychology on the work floor: how do staff members and entrepreneurs stay healthy during their day-to-day life and throughout their careers?

    Organizational psychology is a relatively wide field. I therefore advise my students to keep an open mind, to be curious about all course units and new perspectives, but also to plan their studies properly. Do you already know what you would like to specialize in? Or have you not decided yet? In any case, our Master’s track will prepare you for all domains, so that you'll have plenty of career options after graduating.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of student Eva de Ruiter

    Choose a placement slightly outside your comfort zone.

    – student Eva de Ruiter
    Read more

    I considered the Master’s track in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology to be a logical follow-up to my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I enjoy working with people, and I noticed that the business world also appeals to me. Graduates of this Master’s track can find jobs in any company, from small NGOs to fancy multinationals.

    I did my placement at Nouryon, previously AkzoNobel, in Amsterdam. I got to carry out tasks at both junior recruiter level and HR officer level. I spent three hectic months commuting between my hometown Veendam and Amsterdam. However, I'm very happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and chose such an interesting company. I'm now employed at Nouryon, and am working on some interesting projects. For example, I'm analysing our international HR offices to try to answer the question of how we can make them more efficient.

    Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology offers a good balance between practice and research. The programme continuously establishes links with actual practice, even in theoretical course units such as Personnel Selection. In addition, the Master’s track has a strong academic perspective, which both your own personal development and your future employer will benefit from. This is what will distinguish you from HRM students in the workplace.

    I have a few pieces of advice for potential students. First of all, make sure you attend the planning meeting at the beginning of the year. It'll give you an idea of what you want to do and when, and what you will need in order to do it. Also choose an interesting placement; this will really help you a lot.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Alumnus Alba Estevez

    I work for a company that is strongly committed to staff wellbeing.

    – Alumnus Alba Estevez
    Read more

    After having completed my Master’s degree in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology , I found a job as a People and Culture Manager at Innatera Nanosystems. This is a young, dynamic company that is strongly committed to staff wellbeing. They were looking for an HR business partner, a professional who could function as a partner both to the management team and to the people on the work floor. I had already gained work experience during several placements and as a volunteer coach for students at the UG. My employer was very enthusiastic about the latter in particular, as it shows that I really care about people.

    I studied Psychology on Mallorca, where I’m originally from, and in Sweden on an Erasmus scholarship. A course unit in Occupational Psychology opened up a whole new world to me. I decided to further specialize in staff wellbeing and leadership, and chose to follow the Master’s track in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology at the UG because it's highly regarded and taught completely in English. The international environment also appealed to me.

    This Master’s track teaches you lots of practical skills, for example in the Coaching course unit. I still benefit greatly from this, not only when coaching staff members, but also when designing projects. In addition, you learn to translate theoretical knowledge into real-life questions, such as how to increase creativity on the work floor or how to motivate staff members. I keep up to date with specialist literature and read a lot about new research. My employer offers me all the space I need to apply my knowledge to support the staff’s wellbeing. And that's what I enjoy doing most.

    Close
  • 
						Testimonial of Alumnus Rinze Krijgsman

    Daring to put your finger on what's going on is what our profession is all about.

    – Alumnus Rinze Krijgsman
    Read more

    As organizational development partner in my own company Dignify, I help organizations to achieve behavioural change, for example when implementing self-management in teams. In addition, I'm often consulted when a team doesn't function well, when things aren't running smoothly. Whether this is because someone is being bullied or because one colleague is particularly dominant, it's always a matter of a lack of psychological safety; in other words, the feeling that you're allowed to express yourself without being punished for it. Psychological safety forms the basis for the ability to learn and develop together.

    A variety of aspects of the Master’s track in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology have reappeared in my work. I still regularly consult the various motivation theories when I'm designing a training course. The practical course unit in Coaching has also helped me a lot, as well as the course unit in Creativity and Innovation in Organizations, which challenges you to think about how to translate theory into practice.

    Graduates of the Master’s track in Work, Organizational and Personnel Psychology are experts in the field of culture and behavioural change within organizations. They're able to convert the desired changes into concrete behaviour. They can give feedback, ask questions, and motivate people. They recognize team dynamics and can identify the formal and informal leaders. And, above all, they dare to put their finger on what’s going on, impartially and objectively. And that, I think, is what our profession is all about.

    Close

Study associations

VIP

VIP is the study association for the Psychology students at the University of Groningen.
VIP organizes study-related and social activities. As a VIP-member, you receive a discount on study books as well as a discount on VIP activities. On this website, you can find more information about VIP, our events, committees, and the book sale.
https://www.vipsite.nl/
Read more
Student profile

You

  • think it is important to help people work (together) effectively and develop themselves;
  • want to contribute to effective and fair personnel selection, reward, and leadership;
  • are interested in studying what motivates people, and what maintains or undermines this motivation.

Do you recognize yourself in this description? Then the WOP Master is the right choice for you! Take a look under the section Research for some examples of questions and issues you could be involved in.

Study support

Our academic advisors inform and advise prospective students, students enrolled in one of our programmes, and alumni. You can turn to them with all kinds of questions, e.g. about the programme itself, study planning, choice of courses/minors, enrolment, rules and regulations that apply to a study programme, attending courses at other faculties and studying abroad.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our academic advisors or plan an appointment with one of them. Navigate to https://www.rug.nl/gmw/psychology/education/study-and-supervision or click the Contact button on this page.